About AANA Peer Assistance

AANA Peer Assistance - support for CRNAs and student nurse anesthetists for substance use disorder (SUD)

What is AANA Peer Assistance?


When can I call for help?

When it is needed; the Peer Assistance Helpline is available 24/7.
Because advisors are working CRNAs, if not immediately available, leave a confidential message and your call will be returned as soon as possible. 

Important note: In a crisis situation where this is a potential immediate risk for harm to self or others - call 911 or the AFSP suicide hotline 800-273-TALK. 

Once safe, see the next question "Where do I start?" for additional assistance.  

Where do I start? ​

For assistance due to chemical dependency, addiction, substance misuse or abuse, the first step is to review the Getting Help page.

​Is the peer assistance advisor a counselor or therapist?​

No, peer assistance advisors are volunteer CRNAs who offer peer support. The AANA peer assistance is intended to provide resources and act as an information center for the purpose of providing helpful peer support to CRNAs in need of assistance for chemical dependency/substance abuse. Although the helpline is administered by trained volunteers, it is not a professional treatment or counseling program. No person associated with the helpline, including any AANA staff or volunteers, is authorized to make a medical diagnosis, provide professional therapy, treatment or counseling, or provide legal or other professional advice of any kind. Please consult your personal medical provider or legal counsel for all such services.  

Is the program confidential?​

Yes. In addition, with the limited exception of anonymous demographic data, which is maintained for reporting purposes only, all information provided by a person contacting the helpline will be kept confidential to the extent required by applicable laws. However, please note that all AANA staff and volunteers are required to comply fully with all applicable state laws regarding mandated reporting.  

Is the program connected to Boards of Nursing?​

No, AANA Peer Assistance is a member service for nurse anesthetists, students, and their families.

Can a family member or colleague call for assistance?

Yes, for information and guidance, see Getting Help for yourself and others and review the Intervention Do's and Don'ts for essential information.  

Can a manager or educational program call for assistance?​

Yes, for information and guidance, see Getting Help. Also see Substance Use Disorder Workplace Resources to update or create a facility policy. 

Is there a fee for this assistance?​

No, State Peer Advisors (SPAs) and Peer Assistance Advisors committee members are CRNA volunteers who can provide information and referral.

Can I become a peer advisor?​

Yes, for more information see Information About/For State Peer Advisors.

Does the AANA endorse any specific treatment centers?​

No, the Peer Assistance Advisors provide treatment recommendation specific for anesthesia professionals and links to some centers known to have experience treating healthcare professionals. 

Can I go back to work as a CRNA if I'm in recovery?​

Return to work is looked at on an individual basis. See re-entry to clinical practice recommendations, find under Substance Use Disorder Workplace Resources. The Anesthetists in Recovery forum provides support for anesthesia professionals in maintaining sobriety.  

Can I be recertified while in treatment and recovery?​

What is the Peer Assistance Advisors Committee

Members of the Peer Assistance Advisors Committee (PAAC) lead the AANA peer support network comprised of State Peer Advisors (SPAs) nationwide. Read more at Meet the Peer Advisors.